History, Memory and Justice

Since the end of World War II and especially in the last thirty years, demands for recognition of historical wrongs and redress for past grievances have proliferated in communities and countries around the world. We live in an era when states have begun making official apologies for all kinds of old wrongs, when a growing number of nations have offered some kind of monetary reparations for state violence or persecution, when decades-old historic wrongs have found their way back into courtrooms, and when more than thirty countries have created truth commissions that seek to repair the damages caused by historic wrongdoing. This course focuses on this wave of initiatives for historical redress and explores the philosophical, historical, and political questions that arise from demands for justice for historic wrongs. The interdisciplinary approach is adopted in which philosophical, ethical, religious, psychological and political discussions are explored to address the problems of historical justice, forgetfulness, memory, forgiveness and trauma. Relevant issues such as Holocaust, the 228 incident and white terror, comfort women will be discussed.


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